Everyone at The Soul of the Business has learned that there are very few original problems in business.

The solutions to many problems can be found with techniques – or in places – where others have not looked yet.  Our most common source of answers to client’s frustrations comes from nature.

A business operates in an industry, and industries have many similarities to ecosystems found in nature.  The trick to finding a similar problem is to redefine the question so that it applies to an adaptation to a problem found in nature.

Like animals and insects, a business adapts to have two key abilities: 1) a way to get or attract food which is different from their competitors and 2) a way to avoid or escape from being eaten.

Lantern Fish
Source: Wikipedia

Attracting food can be as simple as having a light on. The deep sea Lantern Fish attracts prey to its mouth by having a glowing tip hanging right in front. When food is seen or flt nearby, it suddenly swallows it. Think about it, is it really that different than a sign that says BAR at 2 am? Fish do advertise. And everyone in the neighborhood advertises differently:

Lantern Fish All

Avoiding being the meal is important too. When we were in elementary school, chances are good we probably saw pictures of fish that had a light colored underbelly and a dark top. Countershading, also known as Thayer’s Law, allows the fish to be partially hidden when viewed from looking either straight up or straight down:

Grey Reef Shark
Grey Reef Shark Source: Wikipedia

Thayers 1902 patent
Thayer’s 1902 patent to color submarines differently

Countershading can be used to minimize or maximize attention to an animal or humans. Camouflage gear is used by the military to hide; if you have never seen a Ghillie Suit used, it will amaze you how effective it is at hiding a person. The opposite is a skunk, who is colored in a way that they are easy to see – they a reverse countershaded.

Our point here, is that there is a wealth of solutions in nature and science that can be applied to business problems. If you don’t see how it applies to you, email us at curious@thesoulofthebusiness.com and we will send you examples that we have used in your industry.